The growth of internet-based computing has attracted many businesses to opportunities in cloud services. This is no surprise considering the many benefits cloud computing presents to businesses. The cloud’s sudden growth over the last few years has left many entrepreneurs pondering difficult questions about its nature and wondering what it is all about. To lend a helping hand, here are simplified answers to ten of the most popular questions in the minds of many business owners.
What is the cloud?
If you are new to cloud computing, this is probably the first question you will want to be answered. In simple terms, the cloud is a platform to store data, software and applications that you have access to and run via the internet. The cloud is a modern online alternative to local servers. You can benefit from all the services of your local server only this time you access them via the internet remotely.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud applications are simply user/client applications installed on the cloud. You probably use cloud applications on a daily basis without even realising. Emailing and banking apps are everyday examples of cloud-based applications. These applications can be web-based, desktop applications or smart mobile apps. The client or user side of the application resides on the user’s devices, while the server side interacts with the cloud. Technically, any application can run on the cloud.
Is there only one cloud
Cloud services are generally referred to as ‘the cloud’ (admittedly even in this piece), even when discussing different cloud solutions, vendors, and applications. It is completely understandable why someone would deduce that ‘the cloud’ is just the one cloud. However, there is not just one cloud. Vendors offer different cloud services on different cloud systems, which is different servers, different networks and different infrastructure altogether. The fact that all cloud services are accessible via a common gateway – the internet - may have misled some to believe that there is only one cloud. The term ‘the cloud’ is only metaphorically used to refer to cloud services.
What are public clouds and private clouds?
A private cloud is also known as an internal or enterprise cloud, and it is a cloud built on a private data centre or intranet. The owner company runs and maintains the data centre; data is secured behind a firewall and access is rarely granted to users who are not directly involved in the company’s enterprise. A public cloud is a data centre lease for companies who don’t need to create a private cloud. The data is managed and secured by the data centre. Cloud vendors provide public cloud solutions.
Where is my data?
To many, the cloud seems like an intangible entity. So how then does it store data, and where exactly does the data go once it is uploaded to the cloud? Data storage in the cloud works in more or less the same way that uploading pictures and videos on the internet does. Cloud services incorporate several remote servers with data storage capabilities in a closed distributed network. Once you upload your data, it passes through several transfer protocols before complex algorithms break up the data into bits and writes it on one or several different servers in the network.
Is the cloud safe?
Cloud storage is one of the safest places you can store sensitive business data. Cloud security is integrated at various levels of access. The cloud vendor is responsible for ensuring that no access is granted unless verified credentials are presented. On a different level, cloud applications and software require user authentication before displaying or manipulating any information – much like conventional business system applications. At the user level, the client should ensure that no one else has his or her access credentials. In a way, the security of any data on the cloud might solely rest with the user.
What do I need to move to the cloud?
Migrating to the cloud is a rather simple process. All you need to do is to transfer all your business applications and data from local computers to the cloud. Before that, you need to have contacted a cloud service vendor and secured a cloud account that suits the needs of your business. You also need a stable and reliable internet connection to access the cloud. If you are looking to benefit from flexible and scalable business operations, moving to the cloud is a sound business decision.
Do I need technical knowledge or support to use cloud services?
Complex processes are happening in the cloud with every single transaction; fortunately, you do not need to be aware of any of them to use the cloud. A majority of cloud services are designed for businesses; software and computer architects package cloud services in a user-friendly abstract interface. This eliminates the need for technical alterations during use. So, you don’t need to be a tech guru to use the cloud, neither do you need an additional tech support team – most vendors provide support during the active life of your cloud account.
Can I use the cloud with my employees?
You can choose a cloud solution that is flexible enough to allow distributed usage with your entire staff. The cloud can be configured in such a way that it mirrors your current business operations down to the finer details. Employees will still be able to access all the data and resources as they normally would in an office at the same privilege level. Moreover, you can use it with remote workers; all they need is an internet connection and an access device.
At Immervox, we pride ourselves on offering a whole range of cloud services for your company, which can be specifically tailored to suit your business needs. For more information and expert advice have a chat with one of our solutions experts so we can help you.